The Avenger was designed and built initially by the Grumman company and designated TBF. However, since Grumman’s facilities were straining to produce enough of their fighters for the Navy it was decided to ask General Motors to open another production line for the design. The General Motors version was designated the TBM but was otherwise identical. The Avenger first entered combat during the Battle of Midway, and despite a poor performance in that engagement went on to be the primary torpedo bomber of the war. Later versions of the aircraft designated TBM-3 had a more powerful engine and the “E” variant was equipped with a special anti-submarine radar. Avengers continued to serve in the U.S. Navy well into the 1950s.
Navy Torpedo Squadron 1 (VT-1), USS Bennington, 1945
Pima Air & Space Museum
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